By: Candess Zona-Mendola of MakeFoodSafe

The FDA announced today that it is investigating 132 cases of lab-confirmed cyclospora illnesses linked to imported basil from Mexico. Of these cases, 4 people have been hospitalized in this cyclospora outbreak.

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According to the announcement, “Although the investigation is ongoing, CDC’s analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that contaminated fresh basil is the likely cause of the illnesses. FDA’s traceback investigation indicates that the fresh basil available at points of sale where consumers became ill was exported to the United States by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.

FDA has requested a voluntary recall and the firm has agreed. FDA has increased import screening on basil and will continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak as well as the distribution of products.”

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Thus far, cyclospora illnesses have been confirmed in several states, including: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Basil exposures occurred in Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio. The FDA is currently working with the importer to recall these products. The investigation is ongoing.

In the meantime, the FDA recommends that you should not to buy, eat, or serve any fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. If you are not sure where your basil is from, it is best to avoid it. Also, anyone showing symptoms of cyclospora should seek medical attention, especially as this particular parasite can continue to re-infect its host.